Knitter’s Fair Haul

The Knitter’s Fair was a raging success this year. There were people everywhere and also plenty of yarn and other knitting supplies. Unfortunately, none of the vendors at the fair this year had brought the yarn I was looking for with them, though several of them carry it in their shops. Those of you who know me will know that I only buy yarn if I have a project in mind for it already. Thus, I didn’t get any yarn at the fair this year. But as you can see, I didn’t leave empty-handed.

stuff I bought at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair on September 11, 2010

Clockwise from left to right: 100g of Corriedale in colour “Raspberry” from Ashford; 100g of Ashford 80/20 merino wool/silk in colour “Cinnamon;” felted soap from The Roving Spinners; and a Thomas Forrester 17.19g spindle with a purple heart whorl and maple shaft.

I couldn’t resist testing out the new spindle. I’d started spinning the Corriedale while waiting for the bus and on the bus ride home from Kitchener. The plan is to spin a singles from both the Raspberry and Cinnamon, then ply these together and arrive at a 2-ply lace-weight which will then be made into an appropriate shawl depending on the resultant yardage.

Making a Quilt

Quilt PatternInstead of going to the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto this year, I went to New Hamburg with one of my knitting buddies to Shall We Knit. I ended up taking home some dark brown Malabrigo Lace (181 Marron Oscuro) that I had wanted to get at the KW Knitter’s Fair last year. It’s beautiful stuff. Lofty and soft; it should make a wonderful shawl for this winter.

Aside from our trip to the yarn store, we also stopped at the Mennonite thrift store just outside the town proper. They have all kinds of wonderful things there. My discovery this time was a package of pre-cut quilting squares in random colours, to make a 60″x80″ quilt. Because there’s a quilting group that meets in the shop, they have lots of odds and ends of fabric around and these packs are a way of making use of the leftovers while still raising money for the community.

I counted how many squares I had of each colour, fired up my handy-dandy PC Stitch, and then semi-randomly charted out where I wanted the squares to go. After that I put them in order by row, paper-clipped a label to each row, and stacked them all in order. I still can’t get my sewing machine tensioned properly, so I’ve started piecing the thing together by hand. Having never done this before I thought it would be difficult, but it turns out all the other needlework I do has prepared me quite well for quilting. The resulting quilt should look very nice on the bed in the spare room.

Three Annoyed Cats

Now that the weather is warming up, the cats have started going outside again. I am very happy about this because it means they will run around a lot more than they do in the house. We have a fenced-in yard so they can’t run the streets, but they still come in contact with strays and neighbourhood cats, and whatever other animals venture into the yard.

Because of this contact, all three of my cats have been given flea medication today. This makes them not very pleasant to be around, because they are all glaring at me and wanting attention but not wanting my attention because I’m the mean one that put this nasty stuff on them.

The funny thing is, I don’t like flea medications as a rule. They are still a form a pesticide and I don’t trust them. But, I also don’t believe in needless waste and the medication was here from a few summers ago and still good.

I think we’ll all be much happier next year when none of us have to go through this mess.

Meet Gero, Frog Extraordinaire

picture of frog named Gero

She’s an albino African Clawed Frog that I’ve had for several months now. I named her after the Japanese word for “ribbit” after hearing it in a couple of animes. Her favourite food is krill so far, and she seems to grow a lot after having some. Once she’s fully grown she could be as much as 15cm long.

Cherries in Winter

Cherries in Winter cover art

by Suzan Colon

118 pages
Started Feb. 7, 2010
Finished Feb. 12, 2010
Adobe EPUB ebook
Borrowed from Overdrive through Cambridge Libraries & Galleries

Suzan discovers her family’s stories of coping through hard times when she gets laid off because of the global recession and uses her grandmother Matilda’s recipes to cope herself.

I greatly enjoyed this book. I looked forward to the stories from Matilda’s past, and even saved a couple of the recipes to try later. It was comforting to know that recessions like this one are cyclical and people become ever resilient when they need to make do.

Doodle The Mascot

I joined the local embroidery guild a couple weeks ago, and for their first project of the year they are doing redwork embroidery. Basically you take a stylized image, transfer it to your fabric, and use outline stitch (also called stem stitch) to stitch the outline onto the fabric. It’s redwork because you traditionally use red thread for this. Bluework uses blue. It would be greenwork if using green. You get the idea.

Anyway, the second thing we are going to be doing is turning a redwork piece into a round ornament. Since the first thing I stitched is around 5 inches and we need something around 3 inches for the ornament, I’ve been trying to come up with something good I can use for the second lesson.

Today while going through some of my papers upstairs, I found the Doodle The Mascot page from the One Piece manga that suggests ways to turn a skull and crossbones into a customized pirate flag. Since I’ve also been trying to learn Illustrator and playing around with my graphics tablet, I’m going to create a pirate flag for Santa and use this as my ornament. Brilliant!

Basically, it will be a skull wearing a Santa hat with candy canes where the crossed bones would be. The bonus is that it will be stitched in red, so it’ll look very appropriately Santa-like.

Pirate Santa

ETA: Here it is! I suck so it took way longer than it should have, and the hat is a little weird. But I still think it’s awesome. Click for the full thing.

UFOs

I’ve been going through my unfinished objects bag and trying to finish up some things. It’s amazing what ends up in there:

  1. I have a pair of mittens that is all but finished, merely needing a thumb on one and the cuff on the other. They’ve been in there for almost a year despite this.
  2. I started a snowman a couple of years ago to put out around Christmas-time, then lost the pattern for a year. After I found the pattern I did maybe two rows and that one’s been sitting in there for almost a year as well.
  3. There are a couple of vests that I was doing to build up a work wardrobe. There’s no real reason I stopped working on them, I just did. There’s also a hoodie that I stopped working on because I needed a new ball of yarn. I have all of the yarn for it, and I know exactly where it is. I think that one’s been in there so long because I stole the needles from it to make a hat.
  4. There’s a pile of socks in there that need darning. They were made before I learned the importance of knitting tight soles, so I’m contemplating cutting them up to use as stuffing anyway, since the entire ball of the foot and heel are worn.
  5. There was a pair of cabled socks in there, but I started those 3 years ago and can’t get gauge so they’ve been frogged to start again.

I’m kind of pleased that there aren’t that many things in that bag. I thought there would be more. Still, I’d better hurry and finish the mittens at least, before the cold weather sneaks up on us and I’m freezing.

All the pretty colours

I made a bunch of dishcloths last month since the cotton yarn was on sale for cheap and we were in desperate need of some cloths for the kitchen. I basically grabbed a ball each of the colours I liked, and then mixed and matched until I was out of yarn.

Dishcloth

There are eight of them in total and I look forward to using them for a very long time. You can see all of the combinations on my Flickr under the dishcloths tag.